A few months ago, I started a course on How to fix bad Agile, which sounded quite interesting at first but actually ended up being just a collection of Scrum antipatterns. I promptly quit because its title was familiarly misleading, making me fairly concerned that the content itself was probably not very accurate.
This confusion between what is Agile and what is Scrum indicates the lack of basic knowledge about the two that can be a real challenge while coaching organizations or teams, and unfortunately, it is very common. But why does this happen?
Well, a huge share of professionals gets introduced to the agile world through Scrum, probably because it is arguably the widest-spread agile framework in the market, and very likely their companies use it. Does this ring a bell?
People easily get somewhat familiar with Scrum pretty quickly through its components and its terminology, while at the same time, they have the notion that there is some kind of relationship between Scrum and Agile. But this relationship is very rarely clear to most people.
To me, the easiest way to explain this in the shortest number of words is using pasta and spaghetti carbonara.
In the same manner that spaghetti carbonara is pasta but pasta is not spaghetti carbonara, Scrum is Agile but Agile is not Scrum.
In other words, there is much more to pasta than just spaghetti carbonara and Scrum is just one flavor of Agile; there are many other Agile recipes that are worth trying with their own perks and particularities.
And most importantly, the benefits of understanding Agile by itself are crucial to effectively working with Scrum, or any other framework, the same way as mastering the basics of cooking pasta will prepare you to become an outstanding chef regardless of the recipe.
Oh! and one more thing. When I tell this to people, sooner or later someone jokingly asks “What about Kanban?” and actually, Kanban is a delicious kind of pizza people get slices while eating their spaghetti. But that’s a different conversation.
Thank you for reading!